Somebody wanted me to teach a lesson on “either/or” vs. “neither/nor”
“Either... or”: used when making a choice between two things or two people. These words are used to talk about positive sentences. In most cases, you do not need to use either. It can be omitted.
*** Sometimes the pronunciations of these words can vary. You can say “ee-ther,” or “eye-ther.”
- You can either go shopping or go to the movies.
- You can go shopping or go to the movies.
(These sentences have the same meaning. You can say either 😉)
- I will either eat steak or chicken.
- I will eat steak or chicken.
“Neither... nor”: used with verbs to create negative sentences. These words are also used to talk about two things or people.
*** The pronunciation of these words also varies. You can say “nee-ther,” or “neye-ther.”
- Neither Lillian nor Jessica wants to go shopping.
- He liked neither Miami nor New York.
IF A VERB IS ALREADY NEGATIVE.... use “either/or” instead of “neither/nor.”
- He DIDN’T like either Miami or New York.
- He didn’t like Miami or New York.
(“Didn’t” makes the verb negative.)
- She didn’t want to go to either the park or the swimming pool.
- She didn’t want to go to the park or the swimming pool.
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